It turns out buying a bingo hall can cost you more than a basilica.
The Mary Queen of Peace hall on MacDonald Drive, a space hosting popular bingo nights, will be purchased by businessman and former premier Danny Williams for $3 million.
That's about $500,000 more than a group of parishioners are paying to save the ornate Basilica of St. John the Baptist, the country's second largest church with a footprint of 29,000 square feet.
The Mary Queen of Peace hall property includes a soccer field and baseball diamond, and is located near a commercial area, drugstore and two schools.
83 properties sold or about to be
According to documents detailing the sale of Catholic church assets to pay millions in damages to Mount Cashel survivors, some 83 properties of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation have been sold or will be in the coming weeks.
The total value of the sales, which include churches, church halls, rectories and vacant land, is projected to be about $31 million.
Forty-five properties, mostly on the southern shore of the Avalon Peninsula and on the Burin Peninsula, have had no offers. The unsold properties are valued at $9.6 million.
The latest bankruptcy trustee report shows that along with the $2.5 million paid for the basilica, a committee led by businessman Fred Cahill paid $1.1 million to buy the St. Bonaventure's College private school and $170,000 for St. Bon's arena.
The other properties were or will be purchased for between $720 and $1.5 million.
The Association for New Canadians will purchase St. Pius X Church and the former St. Pius X Junior High for $1.5 million. Parishioners will buy Mary Queen of the World Church for $1.3 million and will buy Corpus Christi Church for $1.2 million.
Paintings by Newfoundland artist Gerry Squires will also be put up for online auction in February, according to the trustee report. Father Wayne Dohey told CBC News in August the artwork is valued at about $400,000.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal ruled for the first time in 2020 that the archdiocese is vicariously liable for sexual abuse inflicted on four boys at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1940s, '50s and '60s.
Archdiocese seeks further extension
Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal from the archdiocese, opening the door to claims from more than 100 men.
The archdiocese requested creditor protection in December 2021.
The archdiocese will request an extension to bankruptcy proceedings until May during a hearing Tuesday afternoon at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Lawyers for the archdiocese and the survivors have not reached a formal claims agreement — the deal that spells out exactly how much each claimant will receive — and must also sort out whether the archdiocese's residual interest in 33 school properties can be sold.
The schools are owned by the church but are operated by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. The provincial Schools Act states clearly that students can't be ejected from buildings being used for educational purposes, but lawyers for the survivors say that during bankruptcy proceedings, all assets of any value must be liquidated in order to meet obligations to creditors.